Wednesday 16th of August 2006 and my flight was leaving Gothenburg at 0630. I got my flight details yesterday.
KL1152 T 16AUG 3 GOT-AMS HK2 0630 0805
KL1533 T 16AUG 3 AMS-MME HK2 0915 0925
I will sign on together with our new 3rd Engineer and Captain. I saw Captains name on the flight details and it's the very same Chief Officer I was working with on Stena Barbados.
I ordered a taxi for 0500 and they told me that they could be there at 0505.
- Sounds good, I said.
The driver called at 0500 and he told me that he was waiting for me. We left for the airport a few minutes later and I left Gothenburg behind without any backward glances.
We arrived to Amsterdam 0750 and I went to gate D06 for my flight to Tees Valley Airport. I was running around Schiphol looking for my iPod Sport, but I had no luck.
- Try that shop over there, was the answer I got in all the shops.
I gave up and I stepped to the Immigration and then I went to gate D06, departure time 0915. I still had some time and I tried one more shop for the iPod Sport, no luck. I was thinking about a coffin nail.
- On airports they don't sell packets of cigarettes, only cartons, I thought.
I was sneaking by the shop next to the shop where I had tried for my iPod Sport. I saw that the cashier had packages of cigarettes at the counter.
- Is there a place to smoke around here?
- Just across, she said and pointed to a bar.
- Can I have a pack of fags?
I bought a Diet Drink and I had 3 quick cancer sticks before going to the gate. I had put a nico plaster on my arm before leaving with the taxi earlier in the morning and I had been chewing chewing-gum like crazy the whole trip. But it was nice with a cig, even though I didn't need it too bad. But I look DARN good with a cigarette in my hand.
After sucking down my 3 cancer sticks I went back to Gate D06. I was looking for our Captain. I remembered him as an old guy with beard and long hair from Stena Barbados.
I could not see him at my first look around. But I thought I recognized a young man, maybe his son.
- YOO! Did you work on Stena Barbados a few years ago?
- Yes, he said when he recognized me.
- You look you with out your beard, I said.
I said hello to our new 3rd Engineer and then we started to talk about the good old times in the Caribbean. While babbling away the time turned quick and it was soon time to board our flight to Tees.
We arrived to Tees at 0925 GMT and when we came out from the airport we could not find the Agent. Our Captain called the Agent while I was off to buy a Diet Drink.
When I came back they told me that the taxi driver was waiting and that we were going to a hotel. The ship was delayed and I was not sad about it, I will go for a power nap.
My Cottage style hotel room
The not so nice view from my Cottage style hotel room
We checked in at the hotel and our Captain took a power nap while I went out for sightseeing
Bonus box for J
This one is for J, he loves all the unnecessary and ridiculous notes about my showers.
As soon as I had closed the door behind me in my hotel room I rushed in to the shower. I was smoking a fag while waiting for the water to become hot. Sorry J, but I don't have the exact time for the event.
on the town with our 3rd Engineer.
- I knock on your door when I'm ready with my shower, I said.
There was a shopping centre next to the hotel and we searched the center for iPod Sport, well, we searched the whole city for an iPod Sport, but we came up with nothing. I was disappointed, but I found a pack of nico plaster.
We passed a market with a merry-go-round. There was a girl riding the darn thing. She looked more than very bored in the fire engine, going around and around while ringing the bell.
I just had to take a picture, she really looked more than gloomy going around while her mom was cheering at her.
It didn't take that long to walk around the city. We had tea (Italian style) at a cafe (Italian style) before returning to the hotel. Outside the hotel I fired up a smoke and our 3rd Engineer was waiting with me.
- You don't have to wait, I said.
He left and while watching my money go up in smoke I saw a barbershop across the street. I walked over there and I got a 6£ haircut before returning to the hotel and my bed.
The phone woke me up at 1445.
- We are waiting for you in the reception, someone said in the phone.
I went down to the reception and we left for the ship. When I climbed over the gangway there was an AB meeting me.
- HEY! I recognize you, I said.
- From Bro Anton, he said.
He helped me with my luggage and we entered the CCR where the off signing Chief Officer was busy with the loading documents.
- YOO! Long time no see!
- It was a few years since last time, I said.
5 minutes later I was running in to our Fitter. He is a real “ Skånepåg ” and as J would have put it:
I had been in school together with our Fitter when we were VERY VERY young 22 years ago.
I was showed to my cabin. I have to sleep in an extra cabin until Hamburg when the Chief Officer is signing off. He will stay onboard to give me a few pointers. Well, I had just entered my cabin when our Chief engineer came.
- Hello! What are you doing here? I asked.
I knew him from Framnäs. Well, it's the same story every time signing on a Broström ship, a lot of people I knew from before.
When we came onboard it was dinner time and, well, I hope it's my last dinner onboard. I will optimizes the “ FLAT STOMACH EFFECT ” and I will go “FAT TO FLAT” in a jiff.
It's amazing, when joining the ship I didn't remember anything from the ship, except the good times we had onboard 2 years ago. I usually forget all about the ship after a few days at home.
But when I stepped in to the CCR I noticed new computer screens and stuff so obviously I had not forgot it all.
Thursday 17th of August 2006 and they woke me up at 0630. It was 30 minutes until completion of the cargo operation.
When I came down to the CCR it was time to reduce to topping off rate, 300m³/h. After completing loading we have to blow the lines, we don't want any cargo left in the lines. Pour point is 38°C for Fuel Oil.
We did the calculation and when we were ready with the cargo documents we were ready to leave. Pilot came onboard at 0940 ST and we left around 10 o'clock. I took a tour on deck with the off signing Chief Officer and when we left the pilot we returned for tea and a fag on the bridge.
I was on watch until 12 o'clock with out Chief Officer and after lunch we started the cargo heating. Our heating instruction is to maintain loaded temperature 58, 8°C.
I managed to get a little sleep during the afternoon and I woke up 20 minutes before 5 o'clock, dinner time.
- And yes J. I had time for a shower before I went to dinner.
Darn! I had my last dinner yesterday. Well, this is the last one. Tomorrow salad only and I went to get a few bananas in the mess room after my watch at midnight. I brought them to my cabin and I can take them straight to the bridge (after my shower) tomorrow when going to my watch at 0800.
Fresh from the shower I can enjoy my tea and bananas while listening to funky music, and the best part is that I can by-pass the mess room in the morning. And true to my habit I have ordered wake up call 20 minutes before my watch. No time to eat before watch, only time for a shower.
The 2nd officer on the 4 - 8 watch was up on the bridge on my night watch. We talked about the good old times and I told him that I recognized him. He didn't recognize me, strange, but we found out that I had relieved him on Bro Nelly 5 or 6 years ago.
Captain was on the bridge drinking tea. He has his own tea cup, a big pink cup. I told him that I forgot to buy a tea bucket in Tees, otherwise I use to have my own bucket. Well, we were drinking tea and laughing about the good old time and it was soon midnight.
Friday 18th of August 2006 and my plan worked out fine. I went straight from my shower to the bridge at 8 o'clock. No time for breakfast and my tea was prepared when I came on the bridge.
We were in German bight and we had about 4 hours to go to Elbe Pilot when I came on my watch. It was gloomy and grey with rain and I could not help wondering where the summer had gone. It would have been nice with a blue sky and sun shine.
Our Pilot boarded us at 1220 and we expect it to take about 7 - 8 hours to Hamburg. I was really happy that I didn't have to spend my watch on the bridge with the pilot. Arrival around 2000 and departure around 1000 o'clock tomorrow and it looks like I don't have to spend time with the pilot tomorrow.
We will get a new 2nd Officer in Hamburg and our Chief Officer is leaving tomorrow morning. Our new 2nd Officer was the Seagoing Personnel Manager in the company back in 1998 and 99.
We had all fast at 2100 and the Surveyor was soon onboard to do the cargo papers. We started to discharge at 2205.
Smoking can kill
They wanted us to discharge a 1000m³ line displacement and then stop.
- Good, I can have a fag during the stop.
I had prepared the Cargo Control Room with nico plaster, nico chew and all the other stuff needed. I can not leave for the smoke room, have to keep an eye on the cargo operation.
Our new 2nd Officer came onboard during the evening and the first thing he said was that he had forgotten his mobile
phone in the taxi. Well, first he told me that he recognized me.
- You were at the office asking who's responsible for hiring the Captain on Stena Barbados.
Strange they all remember me. Our Captain is running around screaming YOO! all the time pointing his fingers in all different directions.
Well, its dinner time and I'm out of here. Not for eating, but I will try to get a picture of our Captain screaming YOO!
- Dinner time at 2300???!!!
- NO NO! I have been very busy and I'm writing this Saturday afternoon. And by the way, my salad and meat only diet got a flying start today (Saturday, even though I wish it was on the Friday)
Hmm, our dinner Saturday night was a failure, well, I got my picture, but someone tricked me to eat potato gratin.
- It's almost like salad, someone wishing to be anonymous told me.
I blame the Cook.
- Can we PLEASE return to Friday evening!!!!
- OH! Sorry, I got carried away there for a minute. Let's go back to all the Friday night excitements.
Hmm, I forgot where we where. Let me go back and review my notes.
Oh yeah, our new 2nd Officer had lost his mobile phone.... I told you this already. Well,
Smokers die younger
smoking, our new 2nd Officer was hanging around the CCR and I was sitting in for me so I could sneak out in the smoke room for a cig. Actually I had two quick ones
Saturday 19th of August 2006 and we were still discharging when I came on my watch at 8
Smoke or die
o'clock. I had to pass the mess room on the way to the CCR, but I skipped the mess room and went straight to the smoke room.
After my watch I had 30 minutes free time so I could move in to my new cabin. My bed is bigger than my cabin on Rainbow Warrior. Three pillows and I are ready for some heavy duty sleep. There is also an entertainment centre, DVD and a video player.
My cabin, just before moving in. 5 minutes later it was a pandemonium.
My bed room and bathroom on the right hand side
I filled up the refrigerator with Soda water yesterday so now I'm only waiting for my Diet Drinks to arrive. When I was ready with my move I returned to the CCR and we completed discharging at 1445 and we left Hamburg 4 o'clock.
After the flying start of my diet I had the feeling that the success was coming. I started to plan for my afternoon walks on deck, a few hours every day and I will go “FAT TO FLAT” in no time.
After the departure I finished my paper work and I had time for a shower (Där e alltid lite intressant läsning för John också) before the dinner.
We expect o leave the pilot at Elbe 2230, darn, I have to spend way too much time with the Pilot. I hope it's a real entertainer otherwise I will bring a hammer so I can sit and hammer my fingers during the watch.
I guess I was lucky, we expect to leave the pilot at 2200. Our 2nd Officer on the 12 - 4 watch came to the bridge. He told me and the Captain that e had used a drug called Cyban® when he gave up smoking.
- It takes 8 week and the two first weeks you should continue to smoke, he said.
I cocked up my ears, this sounded like a wonder remedy. He came back with a medical dictionary and we found the drug.
- You must order Cyban® in England, I told Captain.
This was exactly what we needed, a wonder remedy. The best part was that we had to smoke for the first two weeks when we start taking the pills. The spirit was high on the bridge.
- Soda water is on me! I said.
- Bring me a carton of PRINCE! I said.
Later on our Cook came to pay us a visit and the spirit became even higher. We will really kick off and optimize the “ FLAT STOMACH EFFECT ” tomorrow.
We were lucky that we had left our Pilot behind, he would have thought that we were taking drugs. we were beaming of joy. Of course, I will sign off smoke free and handsome like a spring day. Who needs good look on a spray can?
Sunday 20th of August 2006 and we were steaming towards Tees when I came on my watch at 8 o'clock. I started my watch with a pot of tea and two slices of black bread.
I spent most of the watch discussing the ISPS and Systematic work with the working environment onboard with our Captain while drinking my tea.
I was still in high spirit after our decision to order the wonder remedy Cyban®. The plan is that you should keep on smoking for the first two weeks when you start eating the tablets.
- Can you please bring a carton of PRINCE to me when you come back to the bridge? I asked.
I was happy to see that the cigarette packages looked like I remembered them, except for the text and some minor changes. But that's how it is, even a winning design has to be changed in the new millennium. But it's way better than the fiasco with the red packages in Greece.
After my watch I went to the mess room for my lunch. I was proud of my self when I managed to keep to the meat and salad. But, no name mentioned, my team-mate in TEAM Slimline had both potatoes and fresh bread on the plate.
- What the he•l is happening around here?
- Potato is healthy, he said.
After lunch I went to the smoke room.
- Are you going to smoke again?
- No, I'm just going to shout and scream at the people sitting in the smoke
Second-hand smoke is cheaper
room, I replied.
No one in the smoke room and I had been in the smoke room for a few minutes when I had to go get our Cook in the galley.
- Hey! I have no one to bawl at in the smoke room.
- I will be with you in a jiff! He said.
I was sitting in the smoke room when our Cook skidded around the corner and he grabbed a cig before coming to a full stop.
We dropped our anchor outside Tees at 2100. On the way back to the bridge I stopped at my cabin. I tried to turn on my phone. I bought a new phone before coming onboard and I managed to send e-mail from England when I signed on. In Hamburg my SIM card was inactive so my computer is still full of e-mails saying that I am in Hamburg.
I turned on the phone and I got network coverage for a minute before my SIM turned inactive again. I got an SMS from our Lebanese Doctor and she made my day. It was nice to hear from her and we managed to exchange a few messages those times my SIM card was active.
Monday 21st of August 2006 and after my watch, well, my watch turned quick. I was reading our ISPS binders and playing mischief with our Captain. But when I came down to my cabin I did set up my phone to send and receive e-mails.
I tested my e-mail settings and there were 15 e-mails in my inbox. I must say that I prefer to read the e-mail on my computer. But what do you do? I will have to use the ships e-mail because writing e-mail on the phone drives me crazy.
I got an e-mail from my brother saying that I was an Uncle. I was happy but it didn't make me feel any younger. But now I have some one to inherit my stuff when I have smoked my self to a stiff. But I guess J is not so happy, I had bequeathed everything to J in my testament. But now I have to change my testament.
I was very tired when they called me at 0740. I felt asleep around 4 o'clock in the morning. I haven't slept that good since I came onboard, but I will be used to the nice and comfortable bed in my cabin after a few days.
I started my day with a pot of tea and two slices of black bread. And I can't honestly remember if I had a fag while waiting for the tea. Ten I continued with the ISPS binders and at 1015 we held a very exciting Systematic work with the working environment onboard meeting on the bridge.
- I will be back in a sec, I'm just going for a quick cig!
- OK, I'm back, but I'm in chock.
No names mentioned, but I meet a guy in
It's never too late to start smoking
the smokers corner bragging about him giving up smoking 2 weeks ago. He had been smoking my cigarettes the other days, but now he had his own package.
Well, OK, we held the meeting on the bridge at 1015 and we have to start the Systematic work with the working environment onboard. This is something we have done for several years already, but now there is a new name for it and new forms to fill up.
Our Cook had been in Stena and he told us that the crew had to fill up two forms in four day.
- Or was it four forms in two days? Never mind.
So every crew member should have been on all the ship at the end. For example, the electrician should watch the Cook peeling potatoes and take notes of how the safety could be improved. And the Cook had to watch 2nd Officer filling up a log book and take notes on how the work could be improved regarding the safety.
- Hey! What about the Captain? I asked.
- It must be boring standing next to his bed taking notes all day long, I said.
But I continued,
- Well, if I'm lucky he is watching a movie when it's my turn to evaluate the danger in his work.
Tuesday 22nd of August 2006 and we were still anchored when I came on my watch at 8 o'clock. I started my watch with tea and 2 slices of black bread. When I got down from my watch at midnight I managed to keep my new phone going for a few minutes so I could upload my web page.
We expect to go inside 2100 tonight, but they called us and wanted us to be at the pilot station 1430 ST. I hope our Agent managed to get the wonder remedy so I can stop smoking. Our Captain called him and he would try his best to get it for us.
During my watch I checked my e-mail with my phone and I got an e-mail from the Greek Goddess (still nothing from the Turkish volunteer, I'm not surprised) saying that she is not to blame for me smoking.
Our anchor was up at 1400 and the pilot was onboard 35 minutes later. We had to wait a little because our jetty was not available until 1500. Our Agent came onboard and he had not managed to get the Cyban®. I don't know how they had spelled to Cyban, but in his notes I could read Zinakldhkgfy something.
- I will try again. Now I have the right spelling, he said.
He promised to bring a case of Diet Drinks for me tomorrow morning. Good, I'm out of diet drinks and we will get 8 cases for me in Hamburg next time.
We started to load just when it was time for my dinner, lucky me, I can already see myself handsome like a spring day. We loaded a 400m³, line displacement and we were ready 15 minutes after 6 o'clock. We did the cargo calculation and we resumed loading 25 minutes later.
While loading the line displacement I was on deck in my white shirt showing my self for the shore personnel. Well, this is what I have to put up with, it's not easy to be Broström's poster boy. I ran in to our Motorman, he was on the way to the seaman's club.
- Can you please bring back a 6 pack of Diet drinks? I asked.
- I will bring it if they have. Do you have a back up order?
- If they don't have Diet Drinks buy diet Drinks.
When we had resumed loading I went to our Captains office to discuss the failure with the Cynab. When I left I had 3 tins of General Snus. Well, it was the bagged stuff, but its way better than nothing. Now my 4 hour in the CCR from 2000 to midnight will be like a walk in the park. I don't think the nico plaster will do it for me any more.
But Captain is always there to play pranks so I can sneak away to the smoke room. But this was the kind of behaviour I try to stop. well, I'm out of here, its time to kick a•• in the CCR.
Wednesday 23th of August 2006 and we expected to be ready around 0300 ST, 0200 LT. I think we have had enough of me explaining the different time zones. But if you think you can handle more of the crap visit my web ship.
So what to do when I got off my watch at midnight, I tried to sleep but I gave up at one o'clock. 2nd Officer is calling me one hour before completion and if I fall asleep for 1 hour it will be terrible waking up again.
I checked my e-mail and I was happy to see an e-mail from our Assistant Cock on Rainbow Warrior. We left Rainbow Warrior 3 weeks ago. She told me that she would send e-mail to me. Where have I heard that before? Still nothing from our Turkish volunteer.
- Don't bother, after 3 days at home you have forgot all about Aladdin.
- No, I will never forget you!
- Well, you can send a e-mail in three weeks, 22nd of August if you still remember Aladdin, I said.
- OK, I will send you an e-mail 22nd of August, she said.
- Yeah-yeah, blah-blah, I said.
So it was a pleasant surprise to receive her e-mail. You all know by now what I think about changing e-mail addresses and stuff that will be forgotten 2 hours after signing off the ship. I have done a little (totally unscientific) survey after leaving Rainbow Warrior. Those people I have asked have sent one or two e-mails and then the best friends ( I will never forget you, I will call you 23 times a day until you are loosing your mind, I will visit you twice a year) have felt in to oblivion.
When I told people running around with their address books asking for e-mail addresses this they were jumping up and down in anger.
Well, I was happy (an e-mail means so much) when I went down to the CCR to assist our 2nd Officer in complete the loading and we completed loading at 0315 and while I was doing the calculation and paper work with our Surveyors our Agent came with a case of diet dinks. I ripped the case open and I opened a can quicker than quick.
We left Tees 0550 and I could go to sleep, I had been up and running since 0800 so a beauty nap was required.
I spent the late afternoon checking out the AB's work on deck and the ship will soon look very good, weather permitted. Our deck crew is very good and the AB on my watch is and old Bosun and Pumpman, so there is not many arses he can't kick.
When I came to the bridge before my watch I poured a cup of tea and I relieved 2nd Officer and the Cadet he has on the watch. Then I planned our calls to the agent with Captain. We have to call the Agent in Hamburg to see if he can get some Cyban for us. He has to confirm in a jiff or we have to try to get it in Brofjorden, Sweden.
- I'm off to bed, captain said and left the bridge.
He was back at 2200.
- Didn't you go to bed? I asked
- I got stuck with the Schengen stuff.
- What the h••l? They managed to make a movie about Schengen. They are incredible in Hollywood, I said.
Click on the PLAY button to listen to Blumentopf. Real good music from Germany
Thursday 24th of August 2006 and we had Elbe pilot on the bridge when I came on my watch at 8 o'clock. I expected 4 hours of boredom, but things turned out pretty good.
Captain was on the bridge, busy with something, never time to rest. Well, at least we had to listen to how busy he was. Our Cook came to the bridge with fresh Cinnamon buns at 10 o'clock. Our Captain ate with an appetite, but I'm proud to say that I could say no.
- You always seem to have so much fun on the bridge, our Cook said.
- We can move the galley to the bridge, Captain suggested.
- I don't know if I can stand Aladdin and his camera in my face all the time.
I called our Agent in Hamburg and asked if he could get Cynab® for me.
- I will launch an investigation, he said.
When I called him later on he told me that he could not arrange prescription drugs. I called our Agent in Sweden and I hope he can kick some arse with this, by now, well known drug.
We changed pilot in Brunsbüttel just before 11 o'clock and our Captain started to complain instantly.
- Our Chief Officer is taking pictures of me all the time. I gave up smoking 3 weeks ago, diet, diet drink and blah-blah-blah.
He told the pilot that I was smoking all the time so I went down and I got a carton of cigarettes. I put them on Captains desk and I told the Pilot that I just had my last cig.
Captain told the pilot about my web page with all the picture of, no names mentioned, someone smoking all the time.
- Is there as guest book so I can write that I saw you smoking? The Pilot asked
Well, we were discussing the meaning of life when the phone rang. I and the Pilot could not believe our eyes. Captain was out of the chair in 0,3 seconds. My camera was in stand-by mode, but it happened so quick that I had to shot from the hip. And even then I didn't manage to capture the sudden move with my camera.
We had all fast at Jetty C H & R Ölwerke Schindler GMbH at 1500. I was ready with the cargo calculation at 1530 and at 1555 our Surveyor was ready with the sampling. We started to discharge the line displacement
at 1600 and then 3 men in white boiler suits came onboard. Lloyds Register and
the word, was used as an insult in both Germany and Sweden. In Sweden from the 18th century. If you read Nationalencyklopedin they think that they started to call the bread for Pumpernickel because of the effect the bread has on your digestion.
Pumpernickel means a person that is clumsy, ungainly in German dialect. Pumper= fart and Nickel is disparaging for Nikolaus. Or as a Captain from Germany I sailed with said:
- A farting Santa Claus!
Pumpernickel is dark, dense German bread made from coarsely ground whole meal rye. Originally from Westphalia in Germany.
Hmm, I though they called me Pumpernickel because of my healthy lifestyle.
the annual survey of the ship
Our Bosun/ Pumpman left for sure not long after we had all fast. He should do some shopping in Hamburg and he told me that he was going to buy Pumpernickel for me.
I had one of the guys from Lloyds Register keeping me busy until 7 o'clock. He wanted to see deck and the cargo handling equipment. Well, he looked satisfied and I could go for a shower before my watch started at 2000.
They left us at 2230 and they had not had enough time to check the whole ship, but I'm sure they come back soon. When I came to my cabin after my watch I ran in to a case of Diet Drinks on my floor. Good, I have a good morning drink when they call me around 6 o'clock for completing the discharging.
Friday 25th of August 2006 and I was called for at 0540. We expected to complete discharging 10 minutes after 6 o'clock. I grabbed two diet drinks and I went down to the CCR and we completed discharging at 0615.
I did the paper work with the surveyor and we left Hamburg at 0740. Our Pilot didn't want us to do the tank cleaning on the river so I had to stay on the bridge until 11 o'clock something when we changed Pilot in brunsbüttel. Then we could start with the tank cleaning
During the tank cleaning I'm in the CCR with a radio and I had two ABs on deck changing tanks and blowing lines. I change the pumps and tanks from the CCR.
I was in a good mood, Korv Stroganoff for lunch, my favourite since I was 7. I was in an up-beat mood when I ran in to my second set back for the day.
- WHAT THE BIP!
It looked like mushrooms in the Korv Stroganoff. I called our Cook and asked if there were mushrooms in the Korv Stroganoff.
- A little, he answered.
- For fåcks sake, Korv Stroganoff has been my favourite since I was seven (not too long, but anyway) and I have never seen any Korv Stroganoff with mushroom.
There was nothing stopping me.
- Korv Stroganoff is Korv Stroganoff, by adding mushroom you just turned a DELICACY to something uneatable. You can as well call it “ Anders Jävla Korvgryta”, I said.
- It's sabotage! I continued.
I was in the CCR steaming off some anger when the printer spitted out a paper and our Cook came.
- Oh, the menu for tomorrow, he said.
- What the ......!!??
I suspect that our Cook has allied himself with the Captain, AGAINST ME! They were only laughing at was will be remembered as the BIG “ Mushroom incident ” for years to come, but I will come back.
We completed tank cleaning just after 4 o'clock and I measured the gas in cargo tank 2 starboard. Our Fitter and one of the ABs will repair the deep well pump
We will arrive to Brofjorden tomorrow and the pump needs to be ready before arrival. But our fitter is from Skåne and he is holding the yellow and red colours high.
If anyone knows how to repair the pump, well, this is the guy and I'm confident that the pump will be up and running soon.
Well - well, what do you know? Election is coming up in Sweden mid September. And as I told you after the last referendum for the Scooby Doo currency a few years ago the Ringmaster and his circus is back in town
The Ringmaster shows up on every election with his magic hat. His pulling out rabbits of the hat
and he even bake bread in the hat for you if you give him your vote.
We have the ballots onboard and it's just to send them from Brofjorden. I have only voted once in my life, and that was against the Scooby Doo currency. I have been thinking about the GREEN party, but that is like giving your vote for the Såsse party, and I don't want to walk down that avenue. But I told every one onboard that I will buy diet Drinks for every one NOT voting for the Såsse party.
Well, while sitting here writing my 2 hours of free time this day is over. I will bring my
“Hip Hop generator®” and I will go relieve 2nd Officer on the bridge.
I will be the DJ of the evening and the Hip Hop will blast high on the richter scale. Or as I said to the Captain:
- The first sign off getting old is when you think all the music sounds like chopping wood.
At 2035 it was time to measure the gas levels in cargo tank 2 Stb again. The first enclosed space entry permit was valid until 2100. I found no gas and I was soon back on the bridge with Captain and my tea cup. When Captain left for his bed I found some cookies, but don't tell anyone. I'm on diet so I will blame one of the 2nd Officers.
We have ETA to Brofjorden pilot tomorrow around lunch time and we need to be ready with the pump before that.
Saturday 26th of August 2006 and we were steaming on a North-westerly course towards Brofjorden when I came on my morning watch. Around 9 o'clock I could listen to Swedish Radio.
It was a beautiful morning and I enjoyed the Swedish radio and my tea. Captain was on the bridge making trouble almost non stop, if it was not about my diet it was about cinnamon buns, cigarettes and snus.
He told me that the crew were crazy about my diet drinks and we called our Agent in Brofjorden. I ordered 6 cases of diet MAX. I also asked if he had any indications on the progress with my snus order.
- We will deliver 60 tins to you at arrival.
- You are a darling! I said.
Our pilot came onboard at 1148 and we have about 1 hour to the jetty. I had time for a very quick lunch before I had to go on the bridge so I could assist Captain when approaching the jetty. We have 1 of the 2nd Officers forward and one aft at arrival together with the ABs. Just before touching the jetty I go down on the manifold to positioning the ship.
I had two diet drinks in the CCR. For all of you that don't know what a CCR (Cargo Control room) is take a look
at my video I did last time I was onboard. Poor quality to keep the size down, when I did the video broadband wasn't in all homes like today.
Our Surveyor inspected the tanks and he was satisfied and when I was ready with the Loading Masters paper work we started to discharge our SLOP (Tank cleaning water). We cleaned out SLOP tanks and we were ready to start discharging 5 minutes before 1700. Just in time for dinner.
I was in an up-beat mood. Our Agent had delivered my snus, but no diet MAX. A small set back, but I'm happy (a little) with my Diet Drinks that we bought in Hamburg. There are people with out any diet drinks.
I got e-mail from our Lebanese doctor and the only thing they ran out of after the war was Diet Pepsi and it was not possible to import any.
Well, anyway, our agent explained:
- You asked for cans and I could only find 0,5 litres bottles, he said.
- That's good enough, I said.
- I will try to get 6 cases for you, but I can't promise, you know, Saturday evening in the middle of nowhere.
I'm of to the CCR, and you just keep your eyes out for my next upload to see how it went with my diet MAX.
When I came down in the CCR for my night watch I meet our Captain and 2 Photographers from the magazine Bro Bullentinen.
- They want to take pictures of you tomorrow morning, he said.
- No, I don't have any time.
- Only a few, one of the Photographers said.
- So I have to wear my black T-shirt tomorrow, I said.
- You must have your uniform, they explained.
- But I look so small in black, I said.
Obviously this was not a good argument for them and we agreed on a picture zone, from shoulders and up.
Sunday 27th of August 2006 and I was called for at 0655.
- One hour to go before we are ready, 2nd Officer told me on the phone.
- Puh hvor er jeg træt!
- Are you stand-by with the notepad and a pen J? Hers is the latest up date about my showers!
I took a shower and I got dressed. I put on my hat I got from the Greek Goddess before leaving for the CCR. I remembered the picture session they were going to have and I was in a hurry to leave for the ship so I had no time to buy spry hair before leaving.
- We don't want to show any skin in the Bro Bullentinen and I think the hat will do the job to cover most of it.
The first thing I did when coming to the CCR (straight from the smoke room) was to open a Diet drink. Then I called the terminal and I asked for the final density for the cargo. Maximum 12000MT vac to load and when we started they gave me an approximate density that I used when I did the cargo plan.
- Final density is 0.8658
When I got the final density I could start to kick arse with the calculation.
The wanted us to stop 190m³ before full cargo so they could flush their line ashore, most likely they used gas oil for the line flushing.
While I was busy doing all this IMPORTANT work our photographers arrived and they started right off with our Cadet. They wanted pictures of all of the crew. They had got all of them yesterday so it was only our cadet, one of the ABs and I left.
When they were ready with the Cadet they started with me. I was not allowed to have my hat on, a major set back.
- Only from front and from a worm's-eye view, I instructed the Photographers from behind the desk.
Our Surveyor was only laughing while drinking his coffee from the seat opposite me at my desk. I was looking for a zip on my Diet drink and all my cans were gone.
- I removed them from the desk, the Photographer said.
When I was ready with the Surveyor we just had to wait for the terminal to bring the cargo documents. Our agent had called earlier and he told me that there was snus and diet MAX waiting for us at the gate. Before going to the gate with the surveyor I brought my empty cans to our trash bin for metal in the kitchen.
The Cook was in the kitchen when I came in.
- ALADDIN! You have filled up the bin all by yourself with empty Diet Drink cans! How many are you drinking every day?
I ran out from the kitchen and I left for the gate with the Surveyor. When we passed Wisby Vanity or what ever the ship is named I thought I recognized the AB on deck. I screamed and it was one AB that I worked with on Stena Barbados. I told him that I would be back soon and we continued our walk to the gate, no cars allowed on the jetty.
In the gate they told me that I could borrow a bicycle with a loading platform and while I was looking for the bike there was a car stopping.
- YOO! Aladdin!
It was the chief Officer I used to relieve on Tärnvind. He had started to work on Preem's refinery. We talked about time that had passed, but I was in a hurry back to the ship. Cargo documents to arrive and departure 10 o'clock.
It took me 2 minutes with the bike back to the ship and on the way back I stopped to talk with the AB from Stena Barbados. We talked for a few minutes and I had to leave. Before I left he told me that he had pictures of me being drunk on Holiday Inn in Port of Spain, Trinidad, how is that possible? I'm not drinking and if I perchance take a drink it's impossible to notice.
When I was returning to the ship our Photographers left and I thought that this was the last time I saw them and their Hasselblad camera. I don't remember the price tag on the Hasselblad camera, but I never heard of a more expensive camera. But then, if you want Swedish quality you have to open your valet.
Well, our pilot was onboard and I knew him from when I was working on M/T Aurum back in the 80's. He was the Captain onboard back then, but he has been working as a pilot in Brofjorden for quite a few years by now. I meet him here already when I was working in Tärntank.
We left at 11 o'clock, about 1 hour late. We had to wait for the Lloyds Register to finish all the paper work before we could leave. It was nice to leave Brofjorden behind with all the Photographers and other people running around onboard. But we kept one guy from the Swedish Maritime Authority onboard. He will stay onboard until France to check out the ship and to have a parish catechetical meeting with the crew.
I could not believe my eyes when I saw the Photographers following us in the pilot boat.
- What the .....
Obviously they will haunt us forever.
Well, we have left yet another port behind without the Cyban®. Maybe I have to give up my snus the good old way by suffering. But it's strange, when the Captain on Astoria had eating all the narcotics onboard so we had to lift him ashore with the crane there was no problem to get new narcotic onboard. It was delivered in a plastic bag, but to stop smoking seems to be impossible. This is life.
During my night watch the wind increased and we had water spray over deck. The water on deck is cooling down the cargo and we have to increase the heating tomorrow. I hope that the summer is coming back.
Never mind the wind, I enjoyed my night watch with Hip Hop and diet drinks, I better drink diet drinks like there is no tomorrow. My fridge is full and the floor in my cabin is covered with diet drink bottles. Maybe I should give up my diet drinks, but I need to indulge my self. I will go crazy with tea and pumpernickel only.
But according to some studies you can drink diet drinks like water. even if you drink 10 cans a day you will look handsome like a spring day. I'm not aiming for less, well, less than drinking 10 cans a day, but not to look less handsome than a spring day.
Monday 28th of August 2006 and the wind was gone when I came on my watch at 8 o'clock. Passing rain showers and the sun trying to break through the clouds.
Our new 2nd Officer that signed on in Hamburg brought new uniform pullovers for me and the Captain. Today we received an e-mail from our seagoing Personnel Manager.
Sorry for interrupting the story. But I just wonder. I went to school together with the Seagoing Personnel Manager, so why is he looking so much younger than me? Life is not fair.
Well, anyway, he was, well, not angry. But he had signed the e-mail with “Most disappointed”. And if you receive a letter signed with “Most disappointed” you know something is wrong.
He had expected a picture of us in our new pullovers and he was looking forward to receive it via e-mail. Said and done, I sent down Captain to get changed. He came back and told me that we had to postpone the picture. Our guy from the Swedish Maritime Authority wanted us to have a SURPRISE drill to see how the crew responded.
At 1300 the fire alarm went off and we had a fire on our bunker station. I soon reported FIRE SQUAD #1 as ready. We started our foam monitors and prepared a fire hose for the smoke divers in FIRE SQUAD #2.
When the smoke divers from FIRE SQUAD #2 arrived the approached the manifold covered by the foam monitors and a shield of cold water behind the fire hose.
When the drill was over we went to the bridge were the inspector from the Swedish Maritime Authority waited for us with a cake. everyone was satisfied and I took the opportunity to take a picture of the crew.
I wasn't prepared for the set back, the inspector offered to take the picture. I have to be on the picture, I love it. Where is the Skåne flag?
Team Bro Bullentinen
Note the beautiful flag! I always take the opportunity to show the flag. I have one on my balcony and at least there is a family from Singapore that have noted the flag.
I was on a co-owners meeting at my condominium. The manager had asked me to come, I think he needed some one to bring some fun to the meeting. But you know me, I try to avoid the neighbours as much as I can. There was this lady from Singapore and she went on and on about everything. It was about her dogs and her car and the guards didn't let her visitors pass.
I was sleeping when I heard that she said something about someone changing his windows and balcony doors (Ugly aluminium doors and windows) for teak doors and windows.
- There is even a big flag on the balcony, she said.
I was in the back row trying to be invisible while the Manager was laughing. If I can't see them they can't see me. Same on my previous place. I was young and there was a party at least a few times per week. I had a neighbour living above me and he was always complaining. One time they turned off the electricity 5 o'clock in the morning. But I had my portable entertainment center, but I must say that the party spirit faded away together with the batteries in the entertainment center.
I had to sneak home through the garage for several days after that incident and when I had mustered enough courage to enter via the main entrance I could see that there was a note in my post box. Love letter? Hardly.
I passed the note for several days before I took the note. If I'm not reading it it's the same as it never was sent, right? I was in for a surprise.
As one of our most appreciated tenants we give you a 15% discount on the rent from next month and onward
I put the note on my door and I can just imagine what my neighbour was thinking when he was knocking on my door 4 o'clock in the morning while reading the note. He never received any discount. How can you be a appreciated tenant when you're only complaining all the time?
But not all mail is good news, and this “if I don't receive it, it was never sent ” trick doesn't work always. We follow the “no name mentioned” policy on www.aladdin.st, so lets call these two guys for Mr. X and Mr. Y.
In Sweden (I think they changed that by now) the court had to serve you a writ to come to the court of law. If you didn't received the writ you didn't have to go to court.
Knock knock on the door
- Who's there?
- Its the big bad wolf
- What do you want?
- I have a writ for Mr. X
- Hmm, he's on the space shuttle and we expect him back at the end of the year 2032.
- Who are you?
- I'm Mr. Y!
- Good, we have a writ for you as well.
When we were finished with the fire drill I took our Inspector for a tour on deck and we ended up in the CCR. He held an cross-examination on the ISM, ISPS and some other stuff. 3 o'clock I could return to my cabin and my web page.
Today I watched my first video for a very long time, a Danish thriller. Well, it was OK, but our Captain twisted my arm so I had to buy a chocolate cake so I felt pretty bad when the movie reached the end. But I was brisk when I came for my night watch at 8 o'clock.
2nd Officer is escaping a hug
- Your tea is ready, 2nd Officer told me when I entered the bridge.
- You're a darling! Let me give you a hug.
When I approached with open arms he escaped over the chart table. What!! This is nothing you are used to from Rainbow Warrior.
At 2030 our Motorman came to the bridge, a few minutes later Captain arrived and as last man our Fitter came to the bridge. we were going to vote and we will send our votes from France
So it will be exciting to see what my vote can do. Maybe it will hit high on the charts. Every election you have a list of the different parties. Donald Duck get around 12 votes every election.
- who I put my vote for? Yeah, you guessed right, for Scooby Doo
It will be exciting to see how many votes Scooby Doo will get. I hope we can beat Donald Duck and some other candidates for the post as the Prime minister.
We had a gale blowing force NW during the day and the ship was rolling slightly. I could enjoy my tea, but I had to keep track of my cup. When I was relieved by 2nd Officer at midnight he told me that my cabin was full of Diet Drink bottles rolling around on the floor.
- Good, where ever I sit I can just grab a passing diet drink, I said.
Well, I can see that we are blowing this page out of proportions with all the pictures, maybe I have to divide the pages after the month again. When I took the job I was under the impression that it was for 6 weeks.
Then, suddenly, I faced an 8 weeks contract and before I knew it I was on for 10 weeks.
- I have to think about it during the night. But you will be the first to know.
Tuesday 29th of August 2006 and we had just passed Dover when I came on my watch at 8 o'clock. We had ETA to Le Havre anchorage late afternoon. We received e-mail yesterday that we will anchor until early morning the 31st of August. But they called us and told us that we will go alongside in the afternoon on the 30th.
Raggmånk for lunch and I was in a hurry down from the bridge after my watch at 12 o'clock. I was down in the mess room in two steps. Captain was already eating heartily when I arrived.
Raggmånk is on of my favourites and I had been looking forward for the lunch since 0830 when they told me it was Raggmånk for lunch.
I had planned to see if I could break my old record, 2 Raggmånks. I was aiming for 3 this time. The Raggmånks were delicious, I managed to eat 2 and a half before I was full. This is how it goes when the
“ FLAT STOMACH EFFECT ” is optimized.
Well, this is exactly the kind of behaviour I try to change. I have given strict instructions to the crew on how to act when things is getting out of hands like this. I had to repeat my instructions.
- If you see me eating anything but vegetables you should hit me on the nose!
I had an important meeting after lunch, lo and behold, the meeting lasted until just before dinner. I had time for a quick shower.( Där e alltid lite spännande läsning för J också)
Wednesday 30th of August 2006 and we were still anchored when I came on my morning watch. It looked like the sun was about to break through the clouds and we could start to paint our decks around the accommodation.
The Inspector from the Swedish Maritime Authority was on the bridge drilling our Chief Engineer on the emergency lightning. They tested everything. Emergency power supply, lightning and all the other stuff.
They were just ready when the Pilot called us. They wanted us to be at the pilot station at 1130 so I went forward with the AB at 1030. It was sunshine and nice weather and we enjoyed heaving up the anchor while we were abusing our Captain on the radio.
What a surprise! The Inspector from the Swedish Maritime Authority was scrutinizing our Captain when we took our pilot.
Well, he looked quite satisfied when he left for lunch with me 2 steps behind. We were in the mess room in 3 seconds and when I was finished with the lunch I was happy that I had prepared all the paperwork before. Now I could go and spend 1 hour with my web page before arrival.
I was in for a less than pleasant surprise. J called:
- You have you AMEX and MasterCard bills here! Do you want to know the final price for celebrating the summer?
J is not J for nothing and he told me anyway. DARN! Just what I needed, I didn't thought the summer in the city was cheap. But I didn't expect this hefty price tag. Well, I guess that you never notice the price when throwing your cards in the bars all the time.
But it is convenient, and the best part is that you really never have to find out how much the last evening was setting you back. If you have 300€ in cash the chock is instant when you open your valet the day after. With a hangover force 9,8 it's not very nice to find an empty valet. But if you have 2 inches of VISA slips you can throw it right in the “ paper for recycling ” bin and the same time feel good because you are doing something to save the environment.
At 1315 they called me again, we were approaching EXXON's terminal in Port Jerome. Our Inspector was on the bridge. Now he had his camera with him and he was taking pictures of me like there was no tomorrow.
- From shoulder and up only! I said.
Now it was my turn to cross-exam him. I fired off all my questions about his background and how he came to work for the Maritime Authorities. We talked and the time turned so quick that it was soon time for me to go to the manifold and positioning the ship.
We had all fast at 1430 and all the paperwork was completed at 1530. They took samples of the cargo and we had to wait for the lab result before we could start discharging.
I spent the time with a Diet Drink ( I had ample of time so I had 2) in my cabin. I was thinking about the e-mail I received from our Lebanese doctor today. The other day I got an e-mail saying that her father accepted my offer of 4 old tyres and a few empty beer cans for her hand.
I wrote back asking if it was just because I was from Sweden. I asked if it was the same price if a guy from, e.g. Nigeria had asked. Well, as she wrote:
My father is an Armenian and both Swedish and Nigerian are considered as a second rate human being (And they call me the ship Nazi) so they price would be the same. I understood that her father had obviously never been to Nigeria.
Well, it is getting close to dinner time and we have not started the discharging yet. I hope we start before dinner so I can enjoy the dinner in the mess room. I don't like to eat (salad only) with one leg in the CCR and one in the mess room while the Cook and Captain are abusing me about mushrooms and diet and what ever they come up with.
We try to keep it a little sophisticated and running around eating is something we try to keep back on the farm.
I had just finished my dinner when 2nd Officer told me that they wanted us to start discharging. Good, when we were up and running I went to our day room and I picked a DVD movie and I returned to my cabin.
Well, during the evening we got the report from the Inspector, he will leave us tomorrow. The only thing concerning me was that the sign “ Ventilate before entering ” was faded on the door to the paint store.
Thursday 31th of August 2006 and they called me at 7 o'clock in the morning.
- We are ready in 30 minutes, 2nd officer told me on the phone.
I was in the CCR a few minutes later with two cans of Diet Drinks and we completed discharging at 0735. Our Cadet and the Inspector is leaving today and they left around 8 o'clock. The Inspector was busy taking my picture in the CCR.
- Do you have any picture of the Captain? You're better off harassing him, I said.
- You can e-mail the picture of the Captain to me, he said.
When our agent called I asked if he knew any internet cafe (Cyber cafe in French). He told me that I could use the internet on their office, 5 minutes walk away. Very good, so now I'm only waiting for the Loading Master and the last paperwork. According to the rumour he will be onboard at 11 o'clock.
We have to stay here until 1245 and wait for the high water before we can leave Port Jerome. Pilot will arrive at 1245 so I hope I have time to upload my page before that. Then we have to see where we are going, so far we don't have any voyage orders.